Dino Toso, former Renault F1 director of aerodynamics, has died. Toso, aged 39, had been diagnosed with cancer in 2004 however continued to work throughout his treatment, including helping the team on their way to the 2005 and 2006 drivers and constructors championships. Toso left his position at
A statement from the Renault team reads, “His contribution to the team, both through his results and his courage in the face of illness, are an inspiration. He will be missed enormously and the immediate thoughts of the whole team are with his family.â€
Renault s chief of aerodynamics, Dino Toso, has left the team after eight years. Toso s departure was already announced in April, and as previously confirmed, Dirk de Beer has taken over all of Toso s responsibilities.
Toso has been in charge of Renault s aerodynamics since 2003 and was a key part of the team s drivers and constructors championship wins in 2005 and 2006.
“I would like to thank Flavio Briatore and Bob Bell for their professional and personal support throughout my time with the Renault F1 Team, during which we have enjoyed great success together,â€ Toso said.
“My passion for motor sport has always centered on innovative aerodynamics and been motivated by a thirst for competition. I am looking forward to tacking new challenges that will allow me to fully express my technical creativity in the years ahead, and take me back to what I love most the thrill of competition.â€
Renault have made some slight tweaks to their technical department Dirk de Beer, the current head of aerodynamics, has taken over from Dino Toso as director of aerodynamic technology. It is understood that Toso will remain as an employee of the Renault team, although it is currently unclear as to what position he will move to.
A statement from the Renault F1 team reads, “We can confirm that Dino Toso’s responsibilities have been taken over by current head of aerodynamics, Dirk De Beer.
“However, Dino Toso remains an employee of the company and we can not make any further comments on his position at the moment.”
Despite a poor start to the season, Renault are confident that they will become more competitive at Magny-Cours. Renault have scored as many points in the last two races in Canada and America as third-placed BMW-Sauber. Engineering boss Pat Symonds believes that this trend is positive for his team.
“I think it is indicative of the fact the tide is turning,” Symonds explained. “We are very close to BMW now and racing them hard. Without a doubt, we have upped our game and pulled out of the midfield bunch we were in, to stand on top of it, and there is still more to come. We take a lot of comfort from the fact that after a poor start to the year, we are pulling it back so rapidly. Other teams are not having a great start to the season and not pulling it back as we are. There is plenty to be proud of in what we are doing.”
Since Fernando Alonso defected to rivals McLaren at the end of 2006, Renault have failed to secure a podium finish. Renault are currently fourth in the championship with 25 points, 14 points behind third place BMW-Sauber.
“As we better understand the problems we have been suffering from, we are able to improve the car,” Symonds continued. “There will be enhancements for France and Britain and that’s in addition to continuing to push with our normal development processes. There are a lot of new bits coming for the car and you can be certain we will keep on fighting.”
Meanwhile, there have been some changes in the Renault camp coinciding with their return. Aerodynamics chief Dino Toso has been promoted and now heads Renault’s new CFD centre at Enstone; Deputy technical director James Allison has now moved across to head the wind tunnel project.